Cops Turn Away Parkgoers At Pier 2 Basketball Courts

According to today’s Gothamist report, parkgoers were shut out of the Pier 2 basketball courts starting at 3:30 p.m. yesterday. People who were already there were allowed to stay, but no one else was allowed in. NYPD confirmed that there was no particular incident, but that the shut-out was implemented to control the crowds. There was no head count given at the time, but an NYPD spokesperson said “it got very crowded.” The official capacity under the Pier 2 roof, encompassing the basketball courts, handball courts, and the roller rink, is 800 people.

Gothamist quoted an unnamed Brooklyn Heights resident as saying she and many neighbors were happy with the increased police action at Pier 2. “Brooklyn Bridge Park has really engaged with all the stakeholders. Everyone is very happy about that,” she said. A Brooklyn High School of the Arts student, Kahliyah Brown, didn’t agree. “It’s bad that people fight, but we all get to hang out and meet new people. The amount of cops that come here, they pressure us and make us feel a little unsafe rather than protected.”

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  • Bornhere

    Again, this evening at about 7:30, one officer on foot, one scooter, and one police van escorted a (not especially large or “unruly”) group up Joralemon Street to Court.

  • Claude Scales

    This comment violates our Terms Of Service, and will be removed.

  • TeddyNYC

    Also according to the Gothamist article:

    The 84th Precinct’s park detail will have 25 officers this summer, up from just two dedicated cops on Pier 2 in 2015.

  • Mary

    Thanks, Claude, for removing that inappropriate comment. My question is, why do the kids think partying at a public basketball court is OK? No oversight, no limits. Unlike real city parks, the BBP is a self-promoting, head in the sand, all fun is good fun for all venue that thinks it’s in Westchester. Set time limits, require sign-in sheets, supervise, and enforce rules. The kids will get it.

  • Teresa

    Affluent adults use public spaces (basketball courts, the volleyball courts, Prospect Park, Central Park) as spaces for “partying” all the time. They violate open container laws with impunity. In a city in which most people have little private outdoor spaces, the public spaces become–and always have–spaces for socializing as well as for recreation.

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    Westchester? What does that mean?

  • Mary

    Of course there’s social interaction but I’m not sure what your point is. In my many years, I’ve never seen rampant behaviors condoned in any city park. Do you think what’s been happening in BBP and on our side streets is OK? The police don’t agree.

  • petercow

    Yeah – just think of all the gang fights that have broken out at Smorgasburg or on the High Line.

    Effin’ mayhem.

  • Teresa

    You asked why “the kids” on the courts think “partying” there is OK, and my point was that “partying” in public spaces is common in New York.

    To answer your other questions: I think that reaction to what’s happening in the Park and the neighborhood is overblown. Have there been a few troubling incidents? Sure. But they are not representative of the vast majority of people using all sections of the park, including Pier 2, and they are not common. I spend a lot of time in the Park without concern and will continue to do so.

  • Concerned

    Mary, I agree with you 100%. Shockingly, there is push back to your common sense suggestions. Why is it that accountability is such a problem with so many people. Sad.

  • mlcraryville

    It’s a nasty fact of urban life. Basketball and violence do go together. Google is full of stories to that effect.

    Conclusion: Unless the hoop providers inject some organization and discipline into the use of the courts, tension and chaos take root. If you are going to offer basketball be prepared. So far all our irresponsible Park Corp. does is throw open the courts for 17 hours. That’s why the cops are now needed.

    Take a look at this story about precisely the same issue as ours:

  • StudioBrooklyn

    “Google is full of stories”

    To be precise, Google is full of the internet. Returning many search results is a qualitative validation neither of your search terms nor the results.

  • bleg

    A total mystery why these things are connected.

  • gatornyc

    Who’s condoning the behavior as you suggest? BBP? No way.

  • Bornhere

    I think it’s sometimes hard to appreciate others’ concerns unless you witness situations, yourself. The complaints about helicopter noise seem a bit extreme to me because I live a few blocks west of the harbor, and yes, an extra block or two make a difference; I wasn’t able to get too excited about the problems generated (arguably) by the “bouncy bridge” because I don’t see/hear the pedestrian traffic; if you do not live on or right off Joralemon Street, you may really not grasp how unhappy the situation is. To be dismissive of something that really has a negative impact on one’s day-to-day activities or enjoyment, especially if you don’t have to be subjected to those problems, is not quite fair. Again, I have lived on Henry and Joralemon for more than 30 years and in the Heights since I was born — for me, the downside of BPP far outweighs the benefits.

  • Concerned

    Teresa, I think it’s great you are having a good time in the park and have not had to experience teenagers attacking each other with weapons, knocking each other out, etc…
    Too bad others in the neighborhood have had to experience such things.

  • gc

    Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Sadly, a mostly lost art.
    Unfortunately most of us longtime residents of the Heights have been negatively impacted by one or more of these recent changes. I, for one, would prefer the previous incarnation.

  • Concerned

    This story and NIMBYism are covered in Gothamist. From reading the comment section, it actually looks like the public is starting to turn towards common sense. i.e. teenagers brawling with weapons, gunplay, threatening behavior, etc… is not acceptable, and people who don’t want it in their neighborhood are not racist simply because they don’t want to live around such aggressive behavior. I am also copying a comment that I think is clearly relevant from BK49:
    “Jake has an interesting definition of “horseplay”. Stepping in front of people in a menacing fashion, throwing water bottles and engaging in “gunplay”–however rare–is not “horseplay”. It is anti-social conduct or worse and it ought to be condemned. Jake, like many commenters on this website, doesn’t think that minority youth should be held to the same standard as white kids–because oppression! It’s called the soft bigotry of low expectations. I say Jake is the racist, not the Brooklyn Heights NIMBYs.”

  • gc

    Even though my first inclination is anti-Jake, I think his arguments have some merit and shouldn’t be rejected out of hand. Maybe there’s some common ground to work on.

  • Concerned

    I agree. As long as the common ground doesn’t amount to calling us racist because we don’t want crime in our neighborhood. I mean, it really is ridiculous. I’d love to speak to some of these people face to face and ask them if they think that if white kids weren’t at the basketball courts shooting guns, brawling, threatening park goers, etc… that we wouldn’t be acting the same way?

  • Michael

    I think one instance of shots fired is plenty.

  • Andrew Porter

    But not here in Brooklyn Heights, nor in BBP, which is the whole point.

  • Andrew Porter

    I made comments there, including the following, slightly edited:

    I’ve lived here since 1968, and while the vast majority of residents are indeed white, there are also lots of African-Americans, Asians, Brits, French, etc., etc. The only consideration is whether or not you can afford the rent, or the cost of owning a co-op or condo.

    What’s happened since Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) opened is that despite claims that BBP wouldn’t affect the local area, this has been disproven by recent events, such as the violence there that, when BBP was closed and people left, spilled over into the area. The very quiet backwater of Willowtown has now become a teeming entrance route for BBP.

    The same thing happened to the far north Heights, when the bouncy bridge opened. Suddenly, lots of people were using Middagh Street to get to BBP. Acts of vandalism—smashed flower pots, overturned trash cans, graffiti—rose in the area. Coincidence? No.

    Residents of any color or origin anywhere, not just here in BH, want their streets to be safe, their residences quiet. There’s nothing wrong with that—and there’s nothing racist about that, either.

  • AEB

    I’m incredulous that the idea that violent and/or threatening behavior in a public space is somehow tolerable–at all.

    We’re now in an extremely problematical period in which the boundary between what is acceptable political discourse (or “political discourse”) in public life and what isn’t is being tested by those who not-so-secretly thrill to strongman tactics. (Yes, Mr. Trump, I’m thinking of you though I’d rather not, to say the least.)

    Why should we countenance acting-out of a similar degree of danger, and in a place meant for recreation?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    “Teresa, your rational take based on statistics and facts isn’t as valid as my hasty and overblown conclusions based on first hand experience and emotional response.”

    Seems to be the main idea behind the responses above.

  • Concerned

    SB LOVES statistics!!! But I’m pretty sure that first hand experience and emotional response are a big part of what makes us human. Is it really your position that first hand experience and emotional response be discounted? Isn’t first hand experience where many facts come from? Do we need a study and statistics on everything to please you, SB? Because we both know there aren’t readily available statistics for everything. And even when statistics are available, they are some of the easiest of argument variables to misinterpret for one’s own argument.
    Moreover, one of Teresa’s main arguments is HER experience at the park. I am happy it has been a pleasant one, as compared to those who have seen horrible things, been threatened, etc… What is sad to me is that Teresa and you are actually discounting your neighbors’ first hand experience because yours is different.
    Have a nice Memorial Day, old internet frenemy.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    “Do we need a study and statistics on everything to please you, SB?”

    Yes. When I was a teenager I used to sneak downstairs at 3am to watch the scrambled empirical statistics channels on tv.

    You have a great Memorial Day too! Get to the grills in BBP early and be sure to bring a bigger boom box than you think you’ll need.

  • Concerned

    Same here, except my secret vice was scrambled Cspan… You haven’t lived until you see a scrambled Bob Dole harrumph at 3 am…
    BBP will be great, today. There’s nothing better than friends and families sharing the grills and tables along the waterfront. Lots of NYC unity to be had.

  • Concerned
  • redlola

    Completely agree. I don’t feel we owe anyone a pass who will come to our community and disrespect it. I don’t do that when i go to other communities. All summer long the promenade is littered with blunts and fast food containers. people are smoking weed at like 4pm when kids are around. The people who live here don’t do this. i don’t care who you are, if you can’t act right in my community, stay out of it or bear consequences. i refuse to justify disgusting behavior.